Musteloidea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Musteloids
Mustela frenata.jpg
Long-tailed Weasel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Superfamily: Musteloidea
Fischer, 1817
Families

Musteloidea is a superfamily of carnivoran mammals united by shared characters of the skull and teeth. Musteloids share a common ancestor with the pinnipeds, the group which includes seals.[1]

The Musteloidea consists of the families Ailuridae (red pandas), Mustelidae (mustelids: weasels, otters, martens, and badgers), Procyonidae (procyonids: raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, olingos, olinguitos, ringtails and cacomistles), and Mephitidae (skunks).

In North America, ursoids and musteloids first appear in the Chadronian[citation needed] (late Eocene). In Europe, ursoids and musteloids first appear in the early Oligocene immediately following the Grande Coupure.

The superfamily Musteloidea may not be a monophyletic group. Some or all of the diagnostic characters could have evolved into two or more independent radiations from primitive ursoids such as Amphicynodon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Welsey-Hunt, G.D. & Flynn, J.J. (2005). "Phylogeny of the Carnivora: basal relationships among the Carnivoramorphans, and assessment of the position of ‘Miacoidea’ relative to Carnivora". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 3 (1): 1–28. doi:10.1017/S1477201904001518.